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Cultural self-care event eases students into finals week

by Bridgette Babb - Copy Editor
Wed, Apr 17th 2019 01:00 pm


Loud upbeat music and various aromas greeted students as they entered the Seymour College Union West Ballroom. On Sunday, April 14 from 4 to 6 p.m., The College at Brockport’s culture clubs banded together to create “Self-Care Sunday” located in the union.

The event began with each of the nine culture clubs giving a brief introduction on what it did and how its section of the ballroom would represent self-care. Director of Communications for Women of Color Empowerment (WOCE) Serenity Lovett, announced that there would be a raffle at 5:30 p.m. People were able to win self-care items, such as inspirational coloring books, scented beads and small journals. She then gave the go ahead for all the participants to check out the sections. There were light refreshments provided, such as Capri Suns, fruit platters, chips, crackers and water bottles. President of WOCE Alexandrea Hammonds was able to say a few words on how this collaboration came to be. 

“Two months ago, before spring break we all sat down and came up with the idea,” Hammonds said. “The ultimate goal was to have an event that unified the culture clubs.”

She said that it was important to discuss what we as individuals feel about self-care and knowing one’s self on different levels. 

WOCE’s section had a board which consisted of spiritual figures and the importance of journaling to keep a person healthy. Historian Emily Nunez highlighted certain affirmations written on the clubs board, while sharing the benefits of journaling.

“Journaling has a childish stigma, but it’s a way for us to navigate through negative situations,” Nunez said. “With it you can organize your mind, body and soul.”

There was a book on the table where people could answer the question, “what do you love about yourself?” The responses ranged from “patience” to “beautiful skin” and “great friend.”

The African Student Union (ASU) had information highlighting different hygienic practices between African countries and America. Representative Victoria Omolato showed the different products African Americans tend to use, such as Jergens lotion and shea butter. 

“Shea butter is great to use straight out the shower,” Omolato said. “African skincare is more natural, whereas America tends to add more products.”

The Organization for Students of African Decent (OSAD) sported a table which promoted meditation by relaxation. They provided small pamphlets to students with daily affirmations to help students write out the things that are holding them back.

The Walk Your Way: Fashion Club (WYW) had two different aspects to its table. For one part, President Sade Bartley did massages on the neck and hands for a few students, using a soothing relaxing eucalyptus oil with spearmint. There were also a few natural products located on the table.

“I just want to make sure everyone knows self-care is not only about hot bubble baths,” Bartley said. “It’s about actually taking care of yourself.”

 WYW Events Coordinator Sarah Powell was on the other side teaching a few makeup tricks to students, while letting them know about her upcoming makeup tutorial class later on in the month. 

The Association of LatinX American Students (ALAS) took a different perspective on self-care. The topic was sex education and self-care in the form of taking care of our bodies. Quotes such as “SEX is empowering,” “your body your choice” and “no sex shaming” were all over the board. President Heidi Robles said the club decided to go this route because they felt things like sexual education and diseases affecting minority communities are rarely talked about. The board had information about sexual health, discharge, breast exams, lube, dental dams and sex toys. 

“Sexual pleasure is rarely talked about seriously so we wanted to touch on the topic,” Robles said.

Men of Color (MOC) chose to show how they viewed self-care with different music playlists. Director of Communications Kadeem Blackman spoke about students using music as a huge coping mechanism for different situations and the right song can totally change the day around. 

“A lot of times, men don’t like to express themselves,” Blackman said. “So it is a good way to decompress.”

The Brockport Muslim Student Association (BMSA) presented self-care by using everyday products like yogurt and turmeric to create face masks. Secretary Rukia Abdi spoke about self-care coming from a deeper place.

“It is on a spiritual level,” Abdi said. “Praying is one thing that helps me keep myself together.” 

The Movement’s definition of self-care included many different flavors of chocolate, like ‘firecracker,’ chili and 90 percent dark chocolate. Director of Operations Jazzmine Whitney told passers-by certain things chocolate can help with, such as period cramp pain, lowering cholesterol and raising endorphins. 

Last but not least was the Eagles for Global Solidarity: Girl Up. President Anabel Adjei explained to the surrounding crowd how important grooming was for both men and women. She spoke about Vice President Michael Ampomah and his care regimen, stating that she had never met a man who took such good care of himself. She went on to talk about signature smells and some of the everyday products you can use for hair growth.

“Here we have apple cider vinegar and baking soda, which cleanses the scalp,” Adjei said. “Then we have skin masks like oats, honey and olive oil for dry skin.”

According to WOCE’s Lovett, the event went very well. She felt each person took something away from it and it was very multifaceted. 


bbabb1@brockport.edu | bridgette_babb

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